Welcome to the first WOW Book Club book review of Paris Letters!
I first glanced at this book in an airport and perhaps because of my surroundings (and the plane ticket in my hand suggesting I was Paris bound), thought it was speaking to me to pick it up and give it a read. After reading the blurb, which describes a woman who tires of her corporate life, saves her pennies, packs her bags and jumps on a plane bound for Paris, I really saw no reason not to read it. Some $20 later, I shoved the book into my carry-on luggage and intended to read a little bit each day on my journey. That didn’t last long – not even any longer than my one-way journey through to Paris.
This book is hard to put down. It speaks volumes to me, having had the same revelation (though at 22, whereas the writer packs up her things and moves to Paris in her thirties) and following the same path to pursue the things I want to do because I’m passionate about them, not because they’re expected of me.
“How much money does it take to change your life?”
The author asks herself this very question. If she wants to quit her job and take off to travel for a couple of years, how much money would she need to do so? With a little math and many (100, in fact) ways to save money in her every day life, she sets herself the task of doing so.
Like the author, I too saved a lot of money in little ways, so I stand by every word she says as truth. Praise a woman for real talk! And as idealistic and non-achievable as it might seem to the critics, I can assure you her math and efforts are entirely on point.
When I first picked up the book I wondered whether it was a travelogue in Paris, a motivational self help book or a love story… and after finishing, I’m concluding that it was a little bit of all three. I loved the balance the author struck, making the book even more relatable than the blurb suggested and reminding us all that we too can quit the every day for the extraordinary.
As a self-confessed die hard lover of Paris, I also loved the setting of the book, though with the small introduction of other cities (i.e. the Vatican explorations), I felt as if I could have followed Janice all over Europe and beyond. I only hope that this is the beginning of her travel writing and not the sudden end (with her wedding and all), even if she moved over from fact to fiction I’m sure I would follow her books elsewhere!
So, over to you – some questions for discussion in the comments below (answer one, two, or all!):
Do you think the author’s love life was so disjointed because of her decision to put her career first or can you have both?
What did you think of the author’s 100 ways she saved to travel? Were there any you could relate to?
Did you find the author’s voice relatable throughout her journey from corporate world to a (mostly) glamorous life in Paris eating pastries daily?
Would you have followed in the author’s footsteps to partake in a relationship with broken English or would you find it too difficult? Or was that what made their love so desirable?
Did you check out the author’s Etsy store following the book? I know I did!
Have you read similar books: Lunch in Paris and Almost French? How did they compare?